ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
Public procurement localisation
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (designated as H.R.3288 and now Public Law 111-117) provides funding for six departments of the U.S. Government, and includes numerous Buy American provisions. Although some of these provisions reiterate existing law and policy (e.g., the general rule that 'funds appropriated in this Act or prior appropriations Acts that are made available for condom procurement should be made available for the procurement of condoms manufactured in the United States') there is at least one new, apparently draconian provision.
The bill establishes especially stringent Buy American provisions for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, the formal title for a government-subsidized railway system that is better known as Amtrak. According to an Amtrak fact sheet, the entity's nationwide rail network is serviced by nearly 18,000 employees. The new Buy American provisions in Section 152 of the bill would protect those jobs by providing that
Hereafter, notwithstanding any other provision of law, funds provided in this Act for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation shall immediately cease to be available to said Corporation in the event that the Corporation contracts to have services provided at or from any location outside the United States. For purposes of this section, the word 'services' shall mean any service that was, as of July 1, 2006, performed by a full-time or part-time Amtrak employee whose base of employment is located within the United States.
In other words, Amtrak is warned that if it purchases any of these services from a foreign provider it will lose all of its funding. This would appear to set a new standard for Buy American provisions by going beyond the setting of rules to establishing penalties for any agency that does not fully abide by them.
The bill has been approved by both the House of Representatives (on November 10, 2009) and the Senate (on November 13, 2009), and was signed into law by President Obama on December 16, 2009.
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